13 September 2013

The Race

Currently in this life of craziness, it's taken so much more discipline to center my focus on the One we are living for.  Running is a place of discipline for me at the moment.  Running becomes my escape and place of clearing my mind and being able to process so much.   I love getting to that place in running where you aren't distracted as much on the pain or stretching in your body but can just run freely and tune into what Jesus is saying.  In other words, being in shape.  Which is so not fun to make yourself get out the door and just endure running consistently until you reach that point.  Sometimes on my run I'll think of things I would share on here.  So many stories of life and restoration that Jesus continues to do all around us.  So many stories of children where they were once in so much desperation you just cant even begin to know how God would intervene and bring justice.  But He does.  His love and mercy always wins.  So on my runs I have these great revelations of how deep the Father's love is for us but then I come back to sit at my computer and try to put it into words on here and the baby is crying, dinner needs to be fixed, kids need to do school, receipts need to be logged and so on.  It's a season for sure.  Three small ones.  New ministries sprouting up within Mattaw.  So I know eventually I'll be able to share some deep heart stories on here of just the powerful testimony Jesus does in our midst.  But for now, taking one day at a time and sharing as Holy Spirit leads is where I find peace.     

"But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint"  Isaiah 40:31

Currently Bud and I have been training for a marathon in October in the Masai Mara.  I love the training.  I mean I hate it.  But love it.  It's a love-hate kind of thing.  There are a million things God will teach me on how much training for a race is so very similar to the race in life we are on.  One of the main things I've come to know is that in a marathon, half marathon, 10k, 5k, whatever race it is, you have so so many different types of people running.  There's the elite and then there's the rest of us.  So for the rest of us, we're all on our own race, not so much in it to compete.  Which I see in life, Jesus has given us all a calling and purpose here on earth we were created for.  Yes, we all have some of the same goals like finishing and moving forward.  As believers we all have the mandate to carry the love and glory of Christ and share it everywhere we go, making disciples of all nations and sharing the gospel.  But then we're each on a path, on our own journey.  And when we start comparing ourselves to one another, man that is a total joy killer.  So even when it comes to race day in a marathon, you can't compare yourself to any other runner.  Not many know each other and know the training one has been through or know each others strengths and weakness.  There are several different age groups.  Some are in it to enjoy and just walk and run.  Others in it to keep a certain pace the whole time and not walk at all.  Some are there to run for a cause or a loved one.  Some take it lightly while others are in serious lock down mode to get their personal best.  Some training for an even bigger race and others accomplishing the first and biggest race they've ever done.  I love that I'm not competing against anyone else except my own personal goal and what I know I can push my body to do, to do what I've trained for.  So in our life, I feel God constantly has us in training for the next step but while training, we are walking out what the last season of training was for.  Does that make sense?  We are constantly stretched and trained to keep going and go further.  And do it with JOY, because I have found how important it is to have joy and thankfulness every step of the race/journey.

"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things.  Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.  Therefor I run thus; not with uncertainty.  Thus I fight; not as one who beats the air.  But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified."  1 Corinthians 9:24-27

While on a run a few weeks ago, I was running the farthest I had run since before being pregnant.  I had come to my last mile and right before starting that mile, there was a huge hill I had to run up.  Terrible timing but God used it to teach me.  My focus had to be on the goal, not on the pain I was feeling at the time.  Just like it says in the bible "my people perish for lack of vision".  Being here, we have to be reminded constantly of the vision of our life and ministry that He has given us.  Otherwise when pain comes, its easy to want to give up rather than have faith in the mandate and vision and trusting Jesus to complete and accomplish all that He has promised.  He is SO faithful.  I could go on and on about all the correlations.  It's pretty wonderful how he uses the things in the physical to teach on what He is doing spiritually.  It was also pretty convenient that the timing of that run and overcoming that hill on that last mile was very similar to how I felt at the moment in life in general.  It was right after we had the four new babies in our house until we could get the staff hired and move them out.  Looking back, that was just nuts.  But He equips and strengthens you in the moment of need.  The last few nights they were in our house, I was up every few hours with Moses feeding him and Anna was staying with us and up with Maria in the night.  Then I had Ezra teething and waking up to nurse every three or so hours.  That alone was enough the wipe me out but Jesus no doubt sustained us during that time.  That was definitely climbing a hill and what a great moment it is to get on top of the hill and have a flat long road to recover on.  

"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which also easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God"  Hebrews 12: 1-2

Which is where we have been the past week.  Resting on a flat stretch and regaining strength so we can keep going.  We had planned to go to Nairobi for a few days to take care of a lot of business and just get away for a few days.  It ended up being TEN days.  Totally unplanned but wow, totally God that sneaked that one in for us.  It was restful for the most part but also showed me that even with every responsibility taken away and nothing to have to be at, that just being a mom to three small ones and a wife is alone a lot in and of itself.  Gave some good reminders.  But once again, reminded He certainly gives the strength for everything He leads us to.  And if its too much then we are either taking on too much or not relying on Him for it all.  

"But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish the race with joy, the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify of the gospel of the grace of God."  Acts 20:24

I'll finish this post with this song.  It's been my theme song.  The song that I've started almost every run with in the past couple of months.  Keep listening through to the part where a man is talking.  Talk about ROCKING my WORLD and my heart bursting to be the person he describes.  Now that's the vision and goal:  JESUS.  


Lucy Reyes said...

Thank you for posting this. It spoke directly to me and where I am on my run with God.

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